the national interest

Paul Ryan Tired of Giving Rich People Most of the Tax Cuts, Decides to Give Them All of the Tax Cuts

Paul Ryan: Lover of the poor, hater of deficits. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Since the outcome of the presidential election remains in doubt, Paul Ryan doesn’t yet know if, come November, he will be working hand in glove with the incoming Republican president or delivering a heartfelt speech about how he never agreed with Donald Trump in the first place. In the meantime, he is promoting his domestic plan, “A Better Way,” which simultaneously serves both functions. If Trump wins, Ryan can use the plan to support his case that Trump should rubber-stamp his bills; if he loses, Ryan can use it to distance himself from the wreckage. Ryan is promoting his plan as an antidote to “anger” and “division”:

Ryan’s agenda includes the normal conservative priorities: deregulation of the financial industry and fossil fuels, repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s cost reforms and coverage expansions, increased military budgets, and deep cuts in spending for poor people. As always, the plan’s centerpiece is a massive, debt-financed tax cut that disproportionately accrues to the very rich. What’s new and different is just how disproportionate it is.

A typical Republican tax cut will give about 40 percent of its tax cuts to the richest one percent. Ryan’s plan, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center, will give three-quarters of its tax cuts to the richest one percent in the first year. And that’s only because the cuts are slowly phased in. By 2025, the highest-earning one percent will enjoy 99.6 percent of the tax cuts. The remaining 0.4 percent will be divided up among the other 99 percent of the country. The new Paul Ryan tax cuts make the Bush tax cuts look like socialism.

Standard disclaimers apply: As everybody knows, Paul Ryan is truly and deeply committed to reducing the budget deficit, and his heart bleeds for the poor, whom he wants to help most of all. So when he learns that he has approved a domestic plan that would transfer resources from the poorest Americans to the very rich at a massive and unprecedented scale, he will no doubt abandon his proposal.

Paul Ryan Decides to Give Rich People All of the Tax Cuts